Boulder Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

What to Do If You Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury

There are few injuries more devastating than spinal cord injuries. Many victims of spinal cord injuries lose the ability to do many of the things they love.

They may also suffer through long-lasting physical pain, multiple surgeries, and a drastically altered way of life.

Unfortunately, modern science has found no way to reverse many spinal cord injuries. Given this reality, finding the best path to making you as whole as possible is critical.

If your spinal cord injury resulted from someone else’s careless actions, one of your options may be to file a personal injury claim.

At Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., we understand spinal cord injuries, their unique legal characteristics, and how to get the compensation you deserve following a Boulder spinal cord injury.

We know what you’re going through, and we want to help.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

When an injury occurs to the bundle of nerves encased in the spinal column (i.e. the “backbone”) the messages from the brain to the rest of the body are either partially or completely disrupted.

These messages control limb movement, various bodily functions, and general sensations. The medical community categorizes spinal cord injuries in a matrix, assessing: (a) partial or complete disruption and (b) paraplegia or tetraplegia.

Therefore, there are four classifications of a spinal cord injury:

  • Partial paraplegia—partial paralysis affecting the lower body;
  • Complete paraplegia—complete paralysis affecting the lower body;
  • Partial tetraplegia—partial paralysis affecting all four limbs and the core body; and
  • Complete tetraplegia—complete paralysis affecting all four limbs and the core body.

Of course, the areas of the body affected and the extent of motor function and sensation in each of these four categories is nuanced.

Nevertheless, understanding the classification of your spinal cord injury is fundamental to your personal recovery and will help your spinal cord injury attorney assess the value of your claim.

What Are the Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

While injuries to the spinal cord can occur under a wide range of circumstances, the most common causes are:

A party responsible for causing one of these accidents may be held financially responsible for an accident victim’s spinal cord injury.

Who Is Responsible for Your Spinal Cord Injury?

Generally, personal injury claims for spinal cord injuries fall into two categories. The first is a claim of negligence. A negligence claim arises when a party who owes you a duty of care breaches that duty, resulting in your injuries.

The second type of claim involves a dangerous or defective product. These claims are referred to as product liability cases.

In this analysis, the law examines the alleged defect within a product and whether that defect caused your spinal cord injury. Defective product liability law is a specialized legal practice that, again, requires an experienced attorney.

In both negligence and product liability cases, an accident victim’s own role in causing their injuries will affect their recovery.

Colorado law relies on the doctrine of “modified comparative negligence” to determine which injury victims can recover financially from an at-fault party.

Under a modified comparative fault analysis, you can still bring a claim provided you were less than 50% at fault. If your contribution was 50% or more, however, you cannot make a claim.

In addition, the percentage of your own fault will proportionally reduce any damage award. For example, if you were 20% at fault, you could collect only 80% of your damages from another at-fault party.

Finally, a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit may claim that you assumed the risk of the activity and therefore cannot make a personal injury claim against them.

For instance, if you were injured while skiing, the defendant may claim that you assumed the risk of injury because skiing is inherently dangerous or because you released the ski resort from liability. Being able to counter that defense is very important.

What Are the Damages for Spinal Cord Injuries?

The primary purpose of spinal cord injury law firms is to get you compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered as a result of your injuries.

Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious, and may involve the following:

  • Constant pain,
  • Impaired bladder control,
  • Inability to regulate body temperature,
  • Loss of sexual function,
  • Pressure sores,
  • Higher risk of illness,
  • Respiratory disease,
  • Cardiovascular disease,
  •   Multiple surgeries,
  • Large quantities of medications, and
  • Lifelong rehabilitation.

Each one of these represents a monumental challenge to the victim. It can take a lifetime to learn how to overcome them or adapt.

Damages following a spinal cord injury may include things like:

  • Medical costs—past, current, and future;
  • Rehabilitation—past, current, and future;
  • Lost wages—missed time at work;
  • Lost earning capacity—the loss of future ability to work at pre-injury levels;
  • In-home care—nurses or home health aids;
  • Adaptive equipment—wheelchairs and modified vehicles;
  • Home modifications—ramps and stair climbing mechanisms;
  • Loss of consortium—detrimental effects on spousal relationship; and
  • Pain and suffering—including emotional distress.

Anyone who recently suffered a spinal cord injury should consult an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer to help them quantify their damages and forge a path toward recovery.

Why a Lawyer Who Focuses on Spinal Cord Injuries Can Help

You only get one opportunity to bring a spinal cord injury lawsuit. If you fail to identify certain damages in your initial claim, it can be very hard, if not impossible, to introduce them at a later time.

The same goes for certain arguments in favor of finding a defendant liable for your injuries. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Gathering all the important data, facts, documents, legal arguments, and court filings into a coherent and winning strategy requires a knowledgeable spinal cord injury attorney.

Call Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C.

At Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law.

Our team of skilled spinal cord injury attorneys knows how to examine and build a case from the ground up.

We fully understand what is at stake and how best to find you justice. Contact us today for a free consultation.